Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

22May/13

Wooga’s New Game: Fantastic Forest

By Camilla Noon

Fantastic Forest is a character driven simulation game that will charm you with its irreverent humor and pop culture references. You enter the game in spectacular fashion, dropping from the sky and into a world filled with anthropomorphic characters and a dire mystery afoot. The Mayor is missing, somewhere out there, in that dank dark forest and who knows when he’ll be back. Or if he’ll come back at all. You’re tasked with assisting a cast of villagers in every aspect of their daily lives; from harvesting crops and trading with the Penguin Mafia, to crafting and fishing.

Innovative cooperative plays a big part in the game, giving you the unique ability to visit your friend’s village and interact with them in real time. You can fish together, hug trees together and decide whether you want to help friend’s or hinder them by stealing that delicious looking goldfish they just pried out of the river.

Stephanie Kaiser, Head of Studio for Fantastic Forest, expressed her excitement at the launch of Wooga’s latest game only just recently, “There is no other game like it on Facebook. This kind of irreverent, dark humor coupled with the innovative cooperative play makes this a really unique experience. Players are going to be surprised and we can’t wait to hear their reactions”.

Fantastic Forest Screenshot

Fantastic Forest is the fourth game Wooga has launched this year, the second on the Facebook web platform, with many more planned to launch on web and mobile before the year comes to an end so be on the look out for even more news, soon.

Kaiser’s first game at Wooga, Monster World launched on Facebook.com in 2010 and is still a top ranking game on the social network. That’s pretty cool, even if we do say so. To celebrate the game’s success and to reiterate Wooga’s dedication to creating long lasting play experiences for our titles, a massive new expansion will begin to be rolled out on May 28th. The expansion includes a completely new underwater garden, hundreds of new plants and many more missions for all those fans to explore.

via: Wooga

11Apr/13

Pocket Village: Wooga’s New Game Exclusively For Mobile

By Camilla Noon

Today, Wooga has released its first ever exclusively mobile title – Pocket Village. The game is available now for free in the AppStore. Your aim is to build your Pocketeers a new village as you unveil secrets along the way.

Exclusively Mobile

Wooga started designing this game intended for mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – about one year ago, inspired by the development of the mobile market.  They were intent on the mechanics being markedly different on mobile than on the web. The game is designed for frequent, short play sessions whilst you wait in line at a coffee shop or have a quick break at work.

Pocketeer

The actions you assign your Pocketeers are quick to do and take 10 minutes or even 30 minutes for them to complete – perfect for these short breaks when you’re on the move.

As the game progresses, players can unlock new areas and treasures. Wooga is constantly updating the experience, so expect some new features still to come this year.

24Jul/12

After HTML5 and Google+ Withdrawal: Wooga Goes Android

By Sebastian Sujka

Berlin’s biggest social gaming developer Wooga has announced two new mobile titles, including its first title on Android. Wooga’s mobile strategy will see Wooga bring its most successful Facebook games to mobile and develop new IPs designed especially for mobile. 12 months ago Wooga announced its first mobile game with Diamond Dash and successfully launched the title on iOS. In the last year Wooga performed some experiments with HTML5 and Google Plus. Both approached failed, ending with the withdrawal from the technology as well as from Google’s social networking platform#mce_temp_url#. Now, half of Wooga’s over 200 employees is working on mobile titles and the other half on native flash titles for Facebook.

Mobile players who connect with friends via Facebook eight times more likely to spend money

The idea of the mobile strategy is to connect players across platforms. According to Wooga, Diamond Dash mobile players who choose to connect with friends via Facebook are eight times more likely to spend money and significantly more engaged than users who play without logging in – highlighting the importance of Facebook and the Social Graph in Wooga’s mobile strategy.

Diamond Dash first game on Android platform

Diamond Dash for Android and Monster World for iPhone and iPad will lead the strategy, with Diamond Dash being the first game on Google’s Android platform. Over 70 million people have played Diamond Dash since it was first released on Facebook in March 2011, with 20 million of those players downloading the game on the iPhone and iPad.

Wooga to double game portfolio of Facebook and mobile games by early-2013

One of Wooga’s first games and a social gaming classic, Monster World garnered over 45 million players in two years. Now Wooga is bringing the game to mobile. Wooga also shared it will double its current game portfolio of Facebook and mobile games by early-2013. Diamond Dash for Android and Monster World for iOS will arrive this Autumn.

11Jun/12

Wooga Pulls Back All Games from Google +

By Sebastian Sujka

Not even a year after launching games on Google+ social game developer Wooga will pull the games back from the platform. Monster World is already offline, whereas Bubble Island and Diamond Dash will be removed July 1st. Wooga did not want to comment the drawback from the Google platform.

Germany’s most successful social gaming company launched on Google+ with three games  in August 2011 ”as a valuable launch partner of Google’s step to provide a full social experience for Google+ users”.

It seems that just Wooga’s games were not enough to provide a social gaming experience on Google+. Wooga is not the one to blame as the same games perform very well on Facebook.
Little surprisingly, the reason for the failure is the lack of users on Google+.

Social games, naturally, are not designed to be played alone. Few or no friends on Google+ result in a bad gaming experience as major gaming features are useless. Google tried to solve the problem by offering the option to play with anonymous players but playing with strangers is by far not the same as playing with people you know. One reason Diamond Dash is successful is because users can compare themselves with their friends in weekly tournaments. Comparing oneself with strangers or with nobody at all is more than pointless.

Additionally, the games were launched on Google+ after being already published on Facebook. As there is no possibility of connecting one’s game between Facebook and Google Plus, there is no reason to start a second separate Monster World farming game.

It is not the first time Wooga pulls back games from a platform. In February 2011 Wooga pulled back all games from their office neighbor StudiVZ, the dying German Facebook clone. At the time Wooga stated that they needed to focus their resources on one platform only. Half a year later they were one of Google+’ first launch partners.

According to Wooga six developers were allocated to the Google+ platform. It seems that it is, again, time to focus on one platform only.

16May/12

Mobile Game of the Week: Diamond Dash on iOS

By Huel Fuchsberger

Social is going mobile. Now that facebook is mostly dominated by a chosen few companies, new users have to be targeted. Wooga was setting foot in the mobile market with  “Diamond Dash” brand. Diamond Dash was originally released at March 2011 on Facebook and has now 19 million monthly users and marks #20 of the top Apps on Facebook. In the App Store the games is generating solid numbers as well.

According to Wooga Diamond Dash has been downloaded over 11 million times since the release in December 2011. So what makes it so appealing that millions play it on a regular basis?

At its core Diamond Dash is a ‘Match-3’ arcade puzzle game.  Your goal is to achieve points by clearing gems in an 8×7 field. Gems can only be cleared when at least 3 gems of the same type are next to each other (not diagonal).  If the player taps on such a set of gems, they vanish and new gems fill up the field from the top changing the field and leading to a new set of gems in the field.

Every game is limited by 60 second, in which a new high score has to be set. The key to do so is to chain combos.  If you swiftly clear several gems in a row you enter an overdrive mode, where not only the matching gems are cleared but also the surrounding ones, leading to more point for you. If you keep your run up, you stay longer in this boosted mode.

Another way to earn more points is clearing gems rapidly without tapping on wrong combinations.  This will fill a meter, that when fully charged, lets a burning diamond appear in the field.  Triggering it lets a meteor crush down on the field and clearing every gem in the row of the triggered diamond.  Also playing the game for a longer period will get you advantages.

You get ‘experience stars’ with every game you play. Higher scores result in a higher amount of experience. Every level increases your score bonus. With level 12 you get access to magic spells that make it easier to get higher scores.But the true reason why this game is so addicting is the social part.

To play the game you need lives. They replenish every 7 min and stack up to a maximum of 5. You can increases your number of hearts by buying them with gold you gets for every level up. Gold can also be purchased via In-App purchase.  The less costly way to be able keeping playing is to ask friends to send you lives. To do that you can connect with your Facebook account.

Diamond Dash was one of the first games that came with Facebook Connect. This allows users to log in with their Facebook accounts. This not only makes it able share their scores and achievements on Facebook, but also to play with the same profile as in the flash version on Facebook.  This is important because you get a better chance to win weekly tournament.

Both versions are synchronized and scores are loaded into the same leader board in which you can compare your scores with those of your friends. Every week it is resented and the best player of the week gets a medal as a reward and the bragging right of being the best. This Facebook integration brings a whole new dynamic into the mobile game, because you are no longer competing with strangers in the game center but with your friends.  You know who you have beaten and also who has surpassed you in the high score.

Diamond Dash is in many ways a success. It shows how cross-gaming is done right. Not only does it manages to translate a Facebook game on to the mobile platform but also adds to the whole experience of social games.  You play on the same data base and every game matters.  Even if you are not connected with your mobile device, scores are stored and the added to the database when you are connected again.
This game really shines if you connect it with your Facebook Account, a good example how social gaming is translated onto a mobile device. If more games of this kind enter the freemium mobile market, many have to reconsider their stand to social platforms.

20Apr/12

King.com or Wooga – Who is Europe’s Number 1?

By Regina Leuwer

In the history of social games there seems to have been only one global number one: Zynga. But there are several companies fighting for the second spot – and interestingly the two hardest competitors right now are from Europe: King.com, headquartered in London with offices all over the continent, and Berlin-based Wooga.
This week, King.com announced it had overtaken Wooga to become Europe’s number one. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

King.com, whose most popular Facebook game is Bubble Witch Saga, now has 10,446,002 daily active users (DAU) putting it ahead of Wooga at 10,280,501 DAU.

Click to enlarge

King.com’s performance is particularly impressive because King launched its first Facebook game just over a year ago. According to the company, the number of times King’s games are played each month has risen from 300 million to more than 2.5 billion.
When looking at monthly active users (MAU), Wooga is still in the lead with 44,669,005 MAU, King.com has 39,750,020 MAU.

Click to enlarge

Usually, the DAU number is considered the more relevant one because it indicates users are actively returning to a game – so it would be fair to say that King.com wins this round due to a boost in DAU caused by the release of Candy Crush Saga last week.
Wooga hasn’t released a new game in a while but the German developer has been growing steadily and is likely to bounce back.
More in-depth information and data on Facebook games and apps is available on our all-new relaunched AppStats – the public beta is now open for free registration.

2Apr/12

Wooga Reveals Diamond Dash iOS Stats and Characteristics of Best Monetizing Users

By Sebastian Sujka

German based social game developer Wooga has revealed performance stats of their hit game Diamond Dash. Diamond Dash is Wooga’s most successful social game in terms of users counting 18.200.000 million monthly active users (MAU) and over 4.200.000 daily active users (DAU) on Facebook. To illustrate: Diamond Dash has almost as many DAUs on Facebook as Wooga’s second (Bubble Island) and third (Monster World) biggest games combined. The game is on Facebook just over a year now and made its entry into the Apple App Store in December 2011.

Wooga states that the mobile version of Diamond Dash has been downloaded over 11 million times on iOS devices since its debuted on iOS. Diamond Dash was one of the first mobile games to launch with a fully realized implementation of Facebook Connect. The game offers social features like synchronized scores between mobile and flash versions, a real time leaderboard and the ability to gift friends playing on a desktop computer from a mobile device.

Wooga reveals that the percentage of users choosing to connect to Facebook on their mobile device has continued to rise since the game  launched – from 28% of users in December 2011, to 64% and rising at the end of March 2012. An interesting finding is that users who log in to the game with Facebook on their mobile device are eight times more likely to spend money, and spend 50% more on average.

Clicking a notification from Diamond Dash whilst browsing Facebook on iOS takes users directly to the Diamond Dash app.  In March users were directed to the Diamond Dash app from Facebook over 18.5 million times, highlighting Facebook’s growing role as a mobile distributor.

Looking into device numbers, over one hundred thousand users are currently playing the retina optimized update on the new iPad. In countries where the device launched on March 16th, 13% of all Diamond Dash downloads have since been for the new iPad, with 25% and 22% being for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S respectively. The iPhone remains the most popular iOS platform accounting for 51% of downloads, with the iPad increasingly closing the gap at 40%.

23Jan/12

Game of the Week – Bubble Island: At Age Two Wooga’s Adventurous Raccoon Hasn’t Lost its Charm

By Regina Leuwer

Bubble Island was released almost two years ago (on February 1st 2010). Despite social games’ allegedly short lifecycle the Raccoon-themed bubble shooter is still going strong. It was recently selected as one of a handful of games to be tightly integrated into Facebook’s Timeline.

Developer: Wooga
Genre: Arcade, action
Platform(s): Facebook, Google+
Language(s): English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Turkish
Monthly active users: 9.8 million (on Facebook, January 23)
Monetization: Free-to-play with paid premium currency

What’s inside?

A bubble shooting game with various social features and a very, very cute raccoon.

How to play

Bubble Island is a puzzle game based on a popular arcade gameplay: Users aim and shoot a bubble-cannon to pop three or more bubbles of matching colors hanging from a ceiling that is steadily moving closer.

Bubble Island is all about shooting colored bubbles - with a little help from a furry friend.

To add flavor to the old concept, Bubble Island is set on a Caribbean Island and its hero is a backpacking raccoon (name unspecified). The friendly mammal accompanies players through the game’s many stages, provides ammunition for the bubble cannon and cheers at high scores.

Special competitions are held regularly to encourage and promote user engagement.

All the different settings are beautifully designed and vary greatly in style as well as difficulty to keep things interesting.

The game has two currencies: Lives and Coins. Coins enable players to retry and also provide help in harder levels. When a user doesn’t manage to clear all the bubbles in a level, one Live is lost. Running out of Lives means he or she must restart at the very beginning of the current stage. Friends can help each other to regain Lives – the more levels all in-game friends play in total, the more Lives are provided to each of them.

Other social features include leaderboards, special competitions and achievements which are published in notifications stream and in a dedicated box on a player’s Facebook Timeline.

9Dec/11

Social Games This Week: Kabam Brings Godfather to Google+, Wooga Enters the App Store, GREE Launches Global Platform

By Regina Leuwer

Kabam released its Godfather social game on Google+. The Godfather: Five Families will be available exclusively on Google’s social network for 45 days.

Zynga and Vostu have settled their copyright lawsuit. As part of the agreement Vostu will have to pay an undisclosed amount to Zynga and change some games features.

Japanese mobile giant GREE unveiled its upcoming global social gaming platform bringing developers a “borderless” system including single sign-on for users, a global payment solution, and a series of out-of-network cross promotional opportunities.

Berlin-based Wooga made Diamond Dash available in the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad as a freemium app. Diamond Dash is Wooga’s most popular game and has 11.3 million monthly active users on Facebook.

TinyCo launched Tiny Village, its first mobile game that uses the proprietary Griffin Engine, which allows the company to build social games once and deploy them on Apple iOS and Android simultaneously.

7Dec/11

Wooga Launches Diamond Dash for iOS

By Gary Merrett

Diamond Dash, Wooga’s most popular game on Facebook with 11.3 million monthly active users, is now available as a free download in the App Store. The iOS version was introduced today, live on stage at Europe’s largest Internet conference Le Web in Paris.

Diamond Dash challenges players’ reflexes to smash as many same colored gems as possible. Weekly tournaments allow players to compete for the highest score with their friends, and also reward the top 3 players with gold, silver or bronze medals. By linking the iOS version to Facebook and automatically synchronizing, weekly tournaments are now available across multiple platforms.

In Diamond Dash for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, graphics and controls have been optimized for the demands of mobile devices. The game will be available in 120 countries and in nine languages – German, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

DIAMOND DASH GOES MOBILE - Wooga launches popular social game for iOS

·  Berlin-based developer launches hit game worldwide in the App Store
·  iPhone and iPad version of the classic social game introduced today in Paris

Paris, France - December 07, 2011 - Diamond Dash, the most popular arcade game on Facebook, is now available as a free download in the App Store. As of today, Wooga, the world's third largest developer of social games, is offering Diamond Dash for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. This exciting game first launched on Facebook, where it has fascinated over 10 million people per month. Today, the company introduced the new mobile version live on stage at Europe's largest Internet conference, Le Web in Paris.

Diamond Dash, Wooga's exciting 60 second gem rush, challenges players' reflexes to smash as many same colored gems as possible. Weekly tournaments allow players to compete for the highest score with their friends, and also reward the top 3 players with one of the coveted gold, silver or bronze medals. By linking the iOS version to Facebook and automatically synchronizing both, weekly tournaments are now available across multiple platforms.

Since its launch in March of this year, Diamond Dash has delighted over 25 million people and was honored in August 2011 with the European Games Award as best social game. It is currently ranked among the top 10 social games on Facebook.

In Diamond Dash for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the graphics and controls have been optimized for the demands of mobile devices, giving fans the opportunity to enjoy the classic game while on the go.

For high-resolution images, the game trailer and to download the game:
http://www.wooga.com/diamond-dash-mobile/

Features:
·  Automatic comparison of the score and social interaction with friends via Facebook Connect
·  Available in 120 countries and in nine languages (German, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish)
·  Regular updates with new game content

Diamond Dash is now available as a free download for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

About Wooga:
Founded in 2009 in Europe´s technology hub, Berlin, Wooga is the third largest social game developer in the world. Wooga creates high quality games for Facebook and iOS, with a specific focus on emotional character development, usability, and superb localization in seven languages.
Wooga is committed to creating innovative and original game titles for players of all ages, bringing millions of users around the world together through a world of gaming. Wooga´s free-to-play Facebook games are enjoyed by over 34 million active players per month - 70% of which are women. Wooga´s games generate revenue by selling interactive goods: Monster World players, for example, have bought more than twenty-eight million magic wands so far - making wooga the biggest supplier of interactive magic equipment in the world. Wooga is also a world leader in the development of cutting-edge technologies, enabling millions of users to compete with their friends.